WHEN DRESSING FOR THE CAMERA, IT’S IMPORTANT TO KEEP A FEW THINGS IN MIND. ONE: THE VIEWER SHOULD BE FOCUSED ON WHAT YOU’RE SAYING AND NOT ON DISTRACTING OR LOUD ATTIRE. TWO: YOUR OUTFIT SHOULD BE APPROPRIATE TO YOUR ROLE IN THE STORY. FOR INSTANCE, A ROCK CLIMBER SHOULDN’T WEAR A SUIT AND A CEO SHOULDN’T LOOK LIKE A ROCK CLIMBER (UNLESS IT’S PART OF THE STORY). THAT IN MIND, ALWAYS BE TRUE TO YOURSELF. HERE ARE SOME TIPS.
1. Consider bringing multiple options to the shoot: You could get coffee on your tie. Maybe the colors aren’t jiving with the camera or clash with another person. There are many reasons to have a back up or alternate option just in case. There’s a lot of time/money spent into a film, commercial, corporate video, etc… and at the very least, have a few options to ensure a smooth day.
2. Wear flattering colors near your face: Pastels, purples and browns are good. Blue is one of the best colors for TV. Green is risky, especially if there will be a green screen.
3. Be careful how you wear black: Through a camera lens, black tends to absorb much of the light around it, making details less visible. Black and very dark colors are usually okay when worn on the lower half of the body. If you must wear black near the face, you can wear a colored jacket or sweater so less black is visible. Or add a colored scarf (avoid neon colors).
4. Avoid bright white: White tends to dominate the screen, and like neon and bright colors, should be avoided. A better choice: not-quite-white colors like light beige, light gray and very pale colors may work better.
5. Avoid wearing bright red (or orange): Red tends to look orange to the camera. A better choice would be burgundy or maroon. In the warmer range, try coral.
6. Avoid herringbones, plaids, checks and especially stripes: Large ones are distracting, and small ones can dance around the screen, creating rivers and waviness (moiré pattern).
7. Jewelry: Keep jewelry to a minimum, especially earrings. A necklace can add a colorful or contrasting accent, but it shouldn’t be noisy, or too flashy or reflective. If it rubs against your microphone causing unwanted noise, get rid of it. Don’t wear jangly bracelets or large dangling earrings. Wear only one ring on each hand, and don’t wear multiple necklaces.
8. Solid colors are best: Large, bright patterns and prints are distracting and can draw attention away from your message. Avoid them. Muted or subdued patterns are generally okay.
9. Be pressed and wrinkle-free: Dress as if you were going to a job interview (appropriate to the subject you will be talking about). Naturally, if your subject is outdoorsy or very casual, you should adjust what you wear accordingly. This is a good place to mention blue jeans: they should be worn sparingly, never ripped or torn, and only when appropriate to your occupation, shoot location, or subject matter. Again for men: Much of the time, a nice shirt (tucked in) and a pair of well-fitting pants (with belt), dark socks and decent shoes, is all you will need.
10. Suits: If you are wearing a suit, Make sure about 1-inch of your shirt cuff is showing, and wear over-the-calf socks in case you cross your legs. No leg skin should show.
11. Skirts: All one color, matching skirt and jacket should do it. Avoid skirts and dresses that are too short unless it makes sense for you, is authentic to who you are and is appropriate for the situation.
12. Style: Don’t make a fashion statement unless you are an artist, fashion designer, or are wearing traditional garb, things of that nature. You want the audience to focus on what you have to say. As mentioned before, be you. But don’t overdo it.
13. Logos: The only logo or brand you should be wearing is your own, if you have one. It goes without saying, that you should not wear t-shirts with phrases or logos. (In most cases, you shouldn’t be wearing a t-shirt at all).
Just do you: At the end of the day, that’s what’s most important. Just be aware of your appearance and if there’s any way to limit unnecessary distractions.